Fireworks are axed and lights may go at Windermere and Bowness

The Westmorland Gazette: The Christmas lights switch on at Windermere in 2012 The Christmas lights switch on at Windermere in 2012

A LAKE District town’s fireworks display has gone up in smoke and the plug could also be pulled on its Christmas lights, a public meeting heard.

Around 30 traders and members of the public attended a crisis meeting called to muster support for under threat winter events in Windermere and Bowness.

The Monday night meeting called by the recently-re-formed Windermere and Bowness Winter Lights Committee was told that the annual firework display on Bonfire Night would not be going ahead this year due to a lack of funding and manpower.

And although the Christmas lights would definitely be switched on come December, there was a danger that the committee could flick the switch on them in 2015 unless businesses support the seasonal spectacular.

“We’re relying on businesses to donate this year so we can maintain the lights through the winter period, as what we raise this year we will use for deposits next year,” said treasurer Amanda Davies.

Chairman David Howarth said there was £8,000 available for the lights to go up once more but after that donations would be needed to decorate the communities for Christmas.

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Ms Davies added that an attraction or event to bring people to Bowness and Windermere could help raise more money to secure future events, but this was just at the ‘ideas stage’.

“We’ve got to have something to make the businesses want to get involved and donate,” she said.

The lack of funding and manpower has also resulted in the calling off of the annual parade, but the group hopes that this could still be achieved with the help of the community.

And in an attempt to reduce costs they have already changed all the winter lights to LED bulbs.

The cancellation of events was first announced at a Windermere Town Council meeting, following the resignation of the entire, long-standing Windermere and Bowness Winter Lights Committee.

Windermere Town Councillor John Saunders said: “The lights are very important in the town for businesses and residents.”

One of the main problems discussed was that the two towns are like a ‘dumbbell’, which means any plans have to benefit both Bowness and Windermere.

“I would like to see something that brings the community together to celebrate Christmas,” Coun Saunders added.

Another public meeting will be held on June 16, at the Lighthouse restaurant on Main Road, Windermere, starting at 6pm, to discuss progress.

For more information call 01539488738.

Comments (1)

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7:58pm Fri 16 May 14

dancer58 says...

How much more do want from local businesses , blood . Not everybody makes loads of money . Most local lets say shops in Windermere and bowness just about make a living , with rent and rates so high it's just getting very difficult to support lights etc , we as a buissness in bowness have always given money to the cause we do not expect thanks or custom , but why is it always expected for local businesses to contribute , it's about time other ways were thought of ........ Just saying like
How much more do want from local businesses , blood . Not everybody makes loads of money . Most local lets say shops in Windermere and bowness just about make a living , with rent and rates so high it's just getting very difficult to support lights etc , we as a buissness in bowness have always given money to the cause we do not expect thanks or custom , but why is it always expected for local businesses to contribute , it's about time other ways were thought of ........ Just saying like dancer58
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